In addition to our regular grants to facilitate change over the long haul, North Star Fund awards short-term Rapid Response grants to help organizations respond to unexpected events quickly and effectively. The precipitating events can include public acts of violence/hate, policy changes or the timing of legislative decision-making. When applying, grantees articulate a specific goal in response to crisis, pivoting to turn the crisis into an organizing opportunity. 2016 saw an unusual surge in requests for Rapid Response grants as grassroots organizations responded to the changes in federal government created by the 2016 national elections. Here is the full list of our 2016-17 grants: over $60,000 to support 20 great community organizations here in New York City.
Prior to December, 2016
$750 Women for Afghan Women
Goal: To mobilize New Yorkers to a monumental #FightforFamilies rally before the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to protect 5 million immigrants and their families. July, 2016
$5,000 Public Policy and Education Fund of NY (PPEF)
Goal: To support the 150-mile #EdWalk from New York City to Albany to demand changes to the systemic underfunding of communities of color on the 10th anniversary of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision. September, 2016$5,000 Faith in New York
Goal: To create space to heal, connect and take constructive action in the wake of recent shootings of Black and Brown civilians. September, 2016
$5,000 Picture the Homeless (PTH)
Goal: To support the final push to bring the Housing Not Warehousing Act to victory. October, 2016
$5,000 Chinese Staff and Workers' Association
Goal: To counter division amongst communities of color in the fight for Chinatown and Lower East Side in the Mayor’s rezoning process. November, 2016
$5,000 Communities United for Police Reform (CPR)
Goal: To implement the "Our Communities, Our Solutions" strategy, including community forums, digital engagement, and report production. November, 2016
Organizing Resilient Communities
In late 2016, we expanded our ability to support grantees with a new rapid response fund: Organizing Resilient Communities. These grants specifically support organizing efforts in response to moves by the federal government that target specific communities. These grants support strengthening and scaling organizations’ capacities to build the organizing power and resiliency of New York City. The first round of ten $2,000 grants were awarded together in December, 2016. Then, we reverted to rolling awards for the first half of 2017.
Round 1 – Ten $2,000 grants awarded in December, 2016
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
To support member convenings and language-accessible “Know Your Rights” training with Asian immigrant constituents about interactions with law enforcement.
DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center
To support the launch of a Hate-Free Zone in Queens, DRUM’s grassroots campaign to create community-wide defense systems and organize diverse communities in response to a climate of fear and attacks.
Equality Labs / Touchable Project
To support immediate efforts to increases the scale of digital security resources within the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrant networks in order to be able to assist New Yorkers to organize through the difficult storm to come.
Flatbush Development Corporation
To support two member convenings – a multi-issue forum and a racial justice and anti-oppression organizing training – to strengthen the coalition as a safe haven for building community, resiliency, and power during this time of heightened repression.
Laundry Workers Center (LWC)
To support “Know Your Rights” training and community visioning sessions to strengthen the grassroots networking of local community leaders, which LWC anticipates will be the single greatest strength of communities and movements to survive the coming four years.
The Parole Preparation Project
To host a series of gatherings led by elders to share their experiences, fears, wisdom, insights, and visions for the future, including personal histories on how they survived prior repressive administrations.
Street Vendor Project
To conduct targeted outreach and listening with Muslim, Arab, and South Asian (MASA) and immigrant vendors, and convene members for “Know Your Rights” and strategy sessions to prepare for an increasingly hostile political climate for street vendors.
Black Trans Media
To support post-election strategy and healing sessions by/for Black trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) New Yorkers along with the creation of a digital self-care and preparedness manual.
New York State Youth Leadership Council
To support the Undocu Resistance Project, a member-led effort to create safe space for undocumented youth and their families, and to amplify the messages of undocumented people to the public through shareable media.
To support the Queerocracy Project address the increase of hate crimes against LGBT youth in New York City through outreach at shelters and service providers, organizing rapid response actions to instances of hate crimes, and producing media (fact sheets and op-eds) on hate violence and the vulnerability of LGBT youth.
Round 2/ Rolling Dates Five grants for $14,900
$2,500 Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio
Over 25 verbal and/or physical hate crimes and attacks against were reported in East Harlem in the 2016 electoral period, including attacks to members of Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio. Their members quickly organized together to create a “Know Your Rights” training series and outreach project, and turned to North Star Fund to support this community defense project. March, 2017
Brandworkers members felt the impact of the Trump administration’s harmful policies acutely, particularly at TomCat bakery in Queens, where over two dozen longtime workers face job loss or deportation as a result of an audit by the Department of Homeland Security. Our grant provided additional organizing capacity in preparation for May Day 2017 actions. April, 2017
$4,700 Enlace / New York Worker Center Federation (WCF)
New York Worker Center Federation had previously launched #FreedomCities as a movement-building and campaign framework to redefine what safety is when building strong local movements. Our Rapid Response grant covered costs of a strategic planning retreat for WCF, an alliance of worker centers including Cidadao Global, El Centro del Inmigrante, Enlace, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Laundry Workers Center, Retail Action Project, ROC-NY, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, and the Street Vendor Project. April, 2017
$2,000 Damayan Migrant Workers Association
After the elections Damayan knew they needed to turn the oppressive anti-immigrant climate to become catalyst for change, to develop the resiliency of immigrant communities. Our Rapid Response grant funded “Know Your Rights” trainings and the launch of Damayan’s community defense project, Magtanggol: Defend Our Communities! Defend Ourselves!. Magtanggol is a Filipino word meaning “defend.” April, 2017
$3,700 Global Action Project (G.A.P.)
As an early cosponsor of the Hate-Free Zone initiative, G.A.P.’s role as a member of the Hate-Free Zone coalition is part of their expanded Community Media in Action work. Our Rapid Response grant supported the critical expansion of G.A.P.’s media training model that supports communities directly impacted by the politics of hate to quickly produce and distribute effective media in response. June, 2017